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It’s World No Tobacco Day, so we’ll let some numbers do the talking for us. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), consuming tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. Out of which, over 6 million deaths are a result of direct consumption, whereas 890,000 are the result of passive smoking.
According to 2019 reports, there are 34.6% adults in India who consume tobacco out of which 20.3% are women.
Aren’t these numbers starling? You must be thinking that we are trying to scare you and we will blatantly admit: YES, WE ARE. Because smoking kills and you know that.
If you have been trying to quit but have been unsuccessful in your endeavours, then we are here to help you out.
Presenting a five-step practical guide to quitting smoking that will help you get out of this habit, once and for all.
1. Plan, plan, and plan
Quitting smoking is not a one-day task. You need to chart a path for yourself that you can follow without wavering. Give yourself small targets and abide by them to the T. Also, avoid buying a pack of cigarettes because they will always be at your disposal. Reward yourself after achieving the target as it will keep you motivated and you’ll keep at it.
“Reduce it gradually because that’s the only thing that will do the trick,” suggests Dr Arvind Kate, a pulmonologist at Zen Hospital, Mumbai.
2. Change your drinking habits
If carbonated drinks, tea, and coffee are bae them you need to cut down on that as well. “There is no medical literature around this, but if usually people smoke while drinking tea and coffee, and this might tempt you to pick up that cigarette again,” says Dr Kate.
3. Chew gum to distract yourself
“These are attention or mind diversion techniques that we suggest. Keeping elaichi or chewing gum in mouth to keep the mouth busy is just a mental trick and frankly, it works. Also, people think that e-cigarettes or vapes are a better alternative but that’s not the case,” explains Dr Kate.
4. Take help of your well-wishers
Family support is a must! According to Dr Kate, you should get your family and friends to motivate you to quit. “We also counsel families that if they want better results then they must keep the environment positive. Even if the person has taken a few drags then he shouldn’t be made feel guilty about it,” suggests Dr Kate.
5. Clean your house
“It is another neat trick of mind diversion technique. You should thoroughly clean your entire home and remove cigarette packs, ashtrays, etc. This way there is nothing at home that triggers your habit”, says Dr Kate.
“It’s a two to three months process so you need to be patient,” adds Dr Kate.
Sadly, according to a survey conducted last year by Aviss Foundation, a whopping 53% of smokers belong to the age group of 20 to 30 years. And more than 50% of people consider that smoking helps them beat stress; but trust us when we say that it might trigger more health hazards than relieving you.
Still not convinced? Then learn what the health agency of the European Union has to say about people who smoke. Their report suggests that smoking can make people more susceptible to serious complications from a covid-19 infection.
Yes, that’s correct! So, just go with these tips and make a pact with a healthy life.